PH House subcommitte approves ‘Eddie Garcia Bill’

Eddie Garcia | GMA photo

A measure seeking to institute workplace safety protocols for television and movie productions was recently approved by the Philippine House subcommittee on labor standards.

The Actors Occupational Safety and Health Standard Bill, or the “Eddie Garcia Bill,” aims to avoid any more accidents, especially ones that could lead to death, like what happened to veteran actor Eddie Garcia last year.

1-Pacman Partylist Rep. Mike Romero, Garcia’s stepson and one of the co-authors of the bill, thanked his colleagues for passing the measure.

Romero said he is expecting the bill’s “swift and prudent approval at committee and later on second and third readings at the soonest.”

“The Eddie Garcia bill assumes even greater importance and significance now given the workplace safety issues that have come with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Romero said Wednesday, August 19.

“Workers and employers throughout the creative industries can gain much from implementing this measure when it is finally enacted into law. Safety first must be the rule not just in the construction and engineering fields, but in all career sectors, including the creative industries,” he added.

The Eddie Garcia Bill will provide: 1. Mandatory actors and production insurance; 2. Specific working hours for a) below 18 years old, b) 18-59 years old and c) 60 years old and above (senior citizen); 3. Medical and safety procedures on the production set and within its area of responsibility; 4. Mandatory installation of safety officers within its area of responsibility; 5. Emergency standards and procedures; and 6. Penalties and liabilities for violation.

“The Eddie Garcia Bill would be the lasting legacy my stepfather will leave for all Filipinos,” Romero said.

Garcia on June 8, 2019 tripped on cable wires while taping a scene for a GMA-7 television series in Tondo, Manila. He remained in a coma for nearly two weeks before he died on June 20 at the age of 90.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at ritchel.mendiola@asianjournalinc.com.

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